Leave it to Tom Ford to make New York's gritty underground subway stations prime real estate for the high-fashion set. On Monday, the newly minted chairman of the Council of American Fashion Designers (he replaced Diane von Furstenberg in June), presented his spring 2020 offering in an abandoned Bowery Street subway station along the J/Z line on the Lower East Side. And considering that the subway is its own moving runway show as New Yorkers show off their personal style, the setting was perfect.
Tom Ford's spring offering was a drastic departure from the over-the-top glamour and excess we are used to seeing from the designer. This season's relatively casual collection was a continuation of Ford's "search for security" as a result of our current political news cycle.
“I’ve never really been a designer who’s talked about a moment in time, how that’s influenced what I design, but you can’t escape the news,” Ford told Vogue last February. “I feel frustrated and agitated and exhausted. And I don’t want to wear anything particularly challenging or anything particularly aggressive.”
In front of 180 guests who sat on metal folding chairs, Ford presented his version of athleisure: leather biker jackets, baseball hats, slouchy tank tops, long skirts with wide elastic waistbands, jersey gowns, and relaxed blazers. Tom Ford notably has said that he hates sweatpants and will not allow his son to wear them. Ford had similar thoughts about the nylon basketball shorts he sent down the runway. “These torture me,” Ford told Vogue of the shorts, while sharing he doesn’t let his son Jack wear them, even though his classmates do. “I’m always fascinated by things that ‘torture me.’”